My housemate lost her partner to his battle with cancer in Sept 2010.
Telstra decided they had some great ways to remember him. The 6 packages sent over the 15 months after his death were a lovely touch.
So, I moved in with her about 3 months after he'd passed.
L: My awesome housemate who's grieving process has been put back 18 months coz of Telstra's incompetence.
K: Her awesome partner who passed in Sept 2010.
L notified them of his death and closed his account and opened a new one in her name.
She stopped logging onto their online services as seeing "Welcome K" was too upsetting. It was that way until I rang just a few days before the first anniversary of his death and asked them to fix it. 2 hours I was on the phone with the CSR. That's not the bad service.
We changed our plan and ordered a T-hub (a really crappy answer to the iphone for home use. We had to replace that twice before we just gave up on it) and the t-box (like netflix for Aussies I guess. We had to replace that once) which they addressed to K. He'd been gone over a year at this point.
I rang and complained. That CSR was so apologetic. Promised an apology letter. (Still waiting.)
It got worse. I had to ring tech support no less than NINETEEN times. I had to go through the same script every time - until I started saying "This is my tenth call in a week about this issue." then they were suddenly sending me up the ladder. When I said "This is my nineteenth call." I suddenly found myself transferred to the Townsville call centre. (This is after being hung up on by one CSR, and having the modem replaced by the same exact modem we suspected to be the culprit sent out.) That tech sussed it was probably the modem and promised not to send out yet another Thomson Gateway. I begged her to make sure it went to L not K - she wrote a note to the warehouse.
We'd had 5 packages sent to K by now. I'd called after each and every package to complain. I was promised so many times it would never happen again. It turned out to be 6 out of 9 packages were sent to K even after I complained to the ombudsman. Their customer resolutions officer rang me and promised it would never happen again. When I said to him okay I want you to agree that if happens again you'll let us out of the contract with no fees. I was told you still have 18 months left on the contract that's too big of a contract to let you out of. I asked for a goodwill gesture. We were offered one month free as compensation (now remember this is about 12 months after all the trouble started.)
The first big pond tech who asked me to speak to K so he could verify me on the account was quickly told "No, he's deceased." The 2nd one who asked a few weeks later had me in tears as I managed to choke out "No, he's deceased. Has been for two years. But you guys KNOW that. I'll have to ring back." and I hung up on him. To ring complains and try and choke out my complaint. At least that woman managed to get him taken off the Big Pond system.
I'd been told at least 5 times by then that he wasn't showing up anywhere on the system anymore.
I wish I had $1 for every time I was told "It shouldn't be happening. He's nowhere on the system. It won't happen again. It can't." Um yeah, it can. He's somewhere. It will.
Special thanks go to the CSR who told me that Telstra only uses one system. They don't use the old system anymore. When I told him what I'd been told by a previous CSR was that they still used the old system for dispatch. I then spoke to yet another CSR 2 days later who told me that yes they have 3 systems that they use. The 1 system CSR told me that he was writing notes that couldn't be ignored on the account. That packages were only to come to L, myself or K's brother who's also on the account.
I almost laughed when a few days later another package showed up for K.
In the end I found myself speaking to a CSR who read the notes and agreed with me that it was going to keep happening and it was better for us to go our separate ways. She told me to find a new service provider and when they ported us over that it would automatically terminate the Telstra services. She was awesome - one of 3 out of what 40 or so CSRs I spoke to over the past 9 months. There was one week that we called them 6 out of 7 days thats how bad it was.
So, we changed to Adam - and do you know what the guy signing us up did? He gave us a $50 discount on the connection fee because of what Telstra had put us through. One we did not ask for. Telstra did not offer a good will gesture not once - I had to ASK - and even then it was so pitiful I still wonder what the point was. Adam is a local ISP. As in I can drive to their offices in about 15 mins. I was with them years ago and never had a problem. We've been with them about a week now and any teething problems we've had they have sorted out quickly and efficiently.
If you want to read about it in more detail feel free to drop by the blog Telstra Hell.
I just don't want anyone else to go through this. I said to L what if she was a little old lady who'd lost her husband and had no one left to speak up for her? If she's anything like L then every time the courier came to the door with a smile and a "package for K" she'd go white and crumple.
I hope that one day I'll be about to hear the word "Telstra" without feeling a ball of rage slowly start building up in me. I hated the way they changed me. I was always polite - never yelled or screamed. But, I started getting terse and cutting people off because they were telling me the exact same thing I'd been told by the last guy and fixing nothing. I worked as a CSR I know what it's like on the other side. I used to be so patient. My tolerance level has become so depleted because of these guys.
L's went from dealing really well with her grief to barely leaving the house. She's seeing a grief counselor now because Telstra made all these promises and did nothing. Sorry - they did something. Constantly sent packages to remind her. I'm just kicking myself that we thought of the "Do you have access to a ouija board*?" joke after they'd removed him from the big pond system. *I'd never actually suggest someone use one of those. *shudder*
tl;dr Telstra sends 6 out of 9 packages to person who's been deceased for over 12 months and continues to do so despite promising at least 9 times "It will never happen again".